40 Years after Roe: If Not for You….

By Dave Andrusko

Editor’s note. This appeared in the Winter 2013 edition of National Right to Life News. If you are not a subscriber, please call us at 202-626-8828.

TwolittlegirlsrereWith the commemoration of the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade on the near-horizon, it is well worth any pro-lifer’s time to look back at how the Media Establishment reacted to a decision that in one fell swoop gutted the abortion laws of even the most “liberal” state. Why? What purpose would that serve?

Such a reflection helps put into context the bitter taste we feel at the re-election of a President who is wedded to the Planned Parenthoods and NARALs of this world. Whatever we feel today, a couple of months after all of us went all-out for Mitt Romney, we need to remember to view our situation not through the zoom lens of emotion but through the wide-angle lens of experience.

All the media gloating over the election of their candidate is as predictable as it is momentary. What matters near-term and longer-term is that you have made an enormous difference in hedging in the assault on the Innocent. More importantly you will continue to do so not just because of the kind of people who make up this Movement but because of the nobility of the cause you fight for unceasingly.

To borrow the opening line of Rick Warren’s mega-best selling book, “It’s not about you.” You and I know it’s about the babies and their mothers, not us.

So … what did the New York Times say in the January 24, 1973, editorial that appeared two days after Roe was handed down?

“The Court’s seven-to-two ruling could bring to an end the emotional and divisive public argument over what always should have been an intensely private and personal matter.”

How about the CBS Evening News the night of the decision? Correspondent George Herman concluded his report with this frightening sentence:

“If the experience of New York State is any guide, America will eventually have one abortion for every two births.”

That would have meant one out of every three babies would be snuffed out, a staggering number.

But the Movement never “went away,” never succumbed to bullying, never retreated, and never gave up, even in the darkest days when pro-abortion Bill Clinton came into office loaded for bear and armed with a pro-abortion Democratic House and a pro-abortion Democratic Senate.

And if not for you, Herman’s prediction might have proved to be on the conservative side. At one point, the number of abortions grew close to one in three, then fell to one in four. Today, according to government statisticians at the CDC, the number is less than one in five.

Consider: Roe v. Wade was the end product of a confluence of events and movements that changed the face of the nation. The damage to unborn babies was and is incredible but not nearly as awful as it could have been. And the collateral damage (euthanasia and assisted suicide, for example) could have been infinitely worse, if not for you.

I asked a handful of people whose opinion I respect what gave them grounds for optimism. Their answers were honest; that’s why I asked them, and not others. The most insightful answer, in my opinion, came from Diane Parente. She wrote,

“Ironically, it is the response to the ghastly school shooting that erased the lives of 20 elementary-age children that gives me hope. Children dying so young touches something deep inside of us. The massive wave of outrage and grief caused by the deaths of these innocent souls shows America’s heart is still intact, despite the 40 years of soul-deadening slaughter that, unlike the murders in Newtown, Connecticut, goes unseen: abortion.”

Diane continued,

“Now somehow we must help the children-loving people of this country to make the connection between the children they can see and those they can’t. Ultrasound is a definite tool to help attain that goal, and the recent laws requiring ultrasound before abortion provide another path to hope. As long as we can capitalize on new breakthroughs providing a window on the womb, we can be hopeful. Also another chance of penetrating the dark of abortion believers is to focus on the tiny babies medicine can save [fetal surgery], who are more and more frequently the same size as those who abortion is destroying.”

“Mak[ing] the connection between the children they can see and those they can’t.” Yes! If you think about it that is exactly what you’ve been doing.

Those ultrasound laws, for instance, were and are fiercely opposed by the Abortion Industry. The thought of even one baby slipping through their clutches is almost more than they can bear. But that can be exactly the impact when the fuzzy generalization that there is a “something” growing within a mother suddenly becomes a concrete reality: she sees there’s a baby in there!

Ending the abortion plague is all about lifting veils, particularly the veil of ignorance. Not so long ago the little ones were essentially invisible. Now their pictures are found in photo albums and pasted on refrigerator doors everywhere.

Keep educating, keep motivating, keep caring, keep on keeping on. However grim the prospect of four more years of Barack Obama undoubtedly is, he “wins” in the only way that ultimately counts only if we give in.